Global Asbestos Congress 2004

Photo Exhibition

Asbestos or The Silent Time Bomb: Message from the Victims

Akira Imai
Photographer, Japan

Akira Imai

As a silent time bomb, asbestos is about to explode in the fast-aging Japanese society. Although mesothelioma was previously rare and little known, its sufferers have been drastically increasing in number, and the malignant disease has become a major concern along with lung cancer for retired workers who have a history of exposure to asbestos, a notorious carcinogen, and their families. A sudden diagnosis of the disease uncovers the victims' forgotten history of exposure, which goes back 30 or 40 years. Their suffering reflects the depth and extensiveness of asbestos pollution that prevailed unnoticed during the post-war economic growth. Between the early 1950s and the late 1970s, asbestos was massively used as a convenient material in shipbuilding, construction and other industries. The workers, who were proud of their ability to support Japan's historic economic growth, have now retired and are in old age, when they should normally be able to care for their aged bodies and enjoy a happy life in the midst of their beloved grandchildren. Their humble hope of being rewarded for many years of hard work after their retirement, however, is undermined by their deteriorating health; they now find themselves riddled with the characteristic symptoms of pneumoconiosis, such as prolonged episodes of cough, phlegm, and breathlessness. Those victims who are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma are reduced to living with constant fear of death.

But, will those who know the cause of their sufferings rise again for a society that is free of the ravages of asbestos damage, and ever show us their smiling faces again? We are afraid that we will see their smiles only in their funeral portraits, although such photos demonstrate their pride in their jobs, ties with their families and joys and sorrows of life.

Even if the use of asbestos is prohibited at large in our country, photos of asbestos victims will continue to relay strong messages. This is because theirs are messages from Heaven that will continue to alert the world about the tragedies of asbestos until such tragedies completely disappear. The photograph exhibition, which is organized in conjunction with the Global Asbestos Congress 2004 in Tokyo, is a great opportunity to deliver the following a message:

"No More Asbestos!


Youichi Nagashima

Youichi Nagashima worked as a carpenter for 51 years. In October 2001, his illness, complications of pneumoconiosis, was recognized as occupational. He still works as a carpenter, and in fact has spent a half century as a pneumoconiosis patient. He began learning the carpenter's trade as an apprentice in 1952, and in 1973 founded his own company; hence, he saw the whole postwar period of wooden building construction sites. Even while suffering from pneumoconiosis he keeps working at sites. However, fewer and fewer construction sites require a carpenter's skills, and he is sad that he cannot pass down his skills to younger generations.



Total Victory!

TOTAL VICTORY! The Yokohama District Court's Yokosuka branch drew a decision on the 7th of October, 2002, for the Yokosuka U.S. Navy Base Asbestos hazard first case. Presiding Judge Yukio Suyama said that while the U.S. military did not take appropriate countermeasures against asbestos, which consequently caused the hazard among the workers, the Japanese Government, which employed the plaintiffs, failed in its duty to use its powers to examine safety measures adopted at the bases and press for necessary action. The court ordered the government to pay 231 million yen to all 17 plaintiffs (12 patients), saying it would not be fair if the government is exempted from having to pay compensation although the right to claim compensation had expired for 5 (3 patients) of the plaintiffs. This is the first court ruling on a hazard suit involving the development of pneumoconiosis at a U.S. military base in Japan.


Distributing Hand Bills

Distributing Hand Bills (U.S. Naval Base Asbestos-Related Disease Trial).
One of the important activities for the campaign is to let the citizens who pass by in the city know about the trials. The plaintiffs and many of their supporters work together on distributing handbills in front of the Keikyu-Yokosuka chuo: the local station on the day of the trial.


Plantiffs Meeting

A Plaintiffs Meeting (U.S. Naval Base Asbestos-Related Disease Trial).
On the 7th of July, 1999, 12 former U.S. Naval Base employees and 4 of their bereaved families sued the central government, claiming compensation for asbestos hazard. They soon formed a campaign group of plaintiffs. At monthly meetings they keep in touch with how their health is and get reports from the lawyer on how the trials are going.



Tomokichi Hasegawa

Tomokichi Hasegawa, born in 1924, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 26 years. His disease, complications with pnemoconiosis, was recongnized as occupational in June, 1987. During his years of employment, he suffered from injuries, burns and was worried about serious diseases like pneumoconiosis which he, together with his wife, had come through so far until today. Saying it is their first photo to be taken together, they sat embarrassed on the sofa side by side for the shot. Through their conversation, however, it can well be seen that the couple from the same home town have lived together helping and supporting each other and have very strong ties.


Yoshiharu Ishii

Yoshiharu Ishii, born in 1926, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 35 years. His disease, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational in August, 1994. Both his mother and his wife need to be taken care of. The calendar in the living room is fully marked with the schedule of the nursing helpers' visits. He tries to take care of his family, but when he must go to the Hospital for treatment for his own illness and also has to go to the court for his compensation trial, he needs the help of many people like his own daughter, his daughter-in-law or other relatives. Sadly, his wife Teruko died of a heart attack in August 2001, at the age of 71.


Mailing Out News

Mailing Out News (Yokosuka Pneumoconiosis Hazard Victims Group).
The patients, who worked in shipyards, mines, tunnels and so on for many years, are filling envelopes for mailing; with clumsy hands and fingers that have laboured, carefully folding the news and other papers for their fellow members.



The Secondary Class Action

The Secondary Class Action: The U.S. Naval Base Asbestos Hazard Secondary Law Suit.
A campaign group of plaintiffs was formed for the U.S. Naval Base asbestos hazard secondary law suit on the 14th of May, 2002. There are 22 of them altogether with 4 lawyers, Mr. Takeshi Furukawa and three others who served on the first suit. On the first day of the new action all the plaintiffs were tense and had serious faces, while they listened to the lawyers.



Hirofumi Ochiai

Hirofumi Ochiai, born in 1932, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 16 years. His disease, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational in August, 1996. When he is alone, he looks rather stiff and awkward. But with his wife's company, sitting next to him, he becomes more natural and amiable in his looks and expressions. Words are not always important and necessary between the couple who have lived together helping and supporting each other.


Satoshi Omori

Satoshi Omori, born in 1927, a former worker of the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., who served there for 34 years. His disease, complications with pnumoconiosis, was recognized as occupational in April, 1996. He died of malignant pleural mesothelioma in June, 2001, at the age of 74. He was a leader of the victims' campaign to eliminate the asbestos hazard. While fighting against mesothelioma under continuous oxygen treatment at home, he never lost his anger towards the guilty company and his determination to eliminate the asbestos hazard.


Katsutoshi Tanaka

Katsutoshi Tanaka, born in 1924, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 30 years. His disease, pneumoconiosis with complications was recognized as occupational in March, 2000. He was born in a shipbuilding town, Chikura, Chiba prefecture. After leaving school, he was fully trained as a shipwright for three years, living with a master shipwright. The experience and skill he acquired during these years were in his blood and have helped him a great deal in the Japanese Army and after.


Kanzo Arai

Kanzo Arai worked for 29 years as an employee on a U.S. military base. In March 2000, his illness, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational. He was born and brought up purely as a fisherman. He found employment on the U.S. military base, thanks to the training in sheet metal work that he had gained while in the Japanese navy. When he was young, he had a sick child, and things were very tough economically, but the family made do through their concerned efforts, with a lot of strain placed on his wife and children. After his retirement, he began to work as a fisherman, but now he cannot go out to sea. However, he often goes to the seashore, and finds natural relaxation by being with boats.


Kazuo Kurihara

Kazuo Kurihara worked for a total of 22 years as an employee on a U.S. military base. In May 2000, his illness, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational. Between his graduation from elementary school and the age of 35, he engaged in fishing and farming in Nagai, Yokosuka. He began working at the U.S. military base to make enough money to feed his family. He would leave his home at 5 in the morning, and commute to work by bicycle, taking a full hour. Now he enjoys farming with his wife.


Isamu Soyoshima

Isamu Soyoshima, born in 1923, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 32 years. His disease, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational in March, 2000. He has worked very hard as a shipwright without falling seriously ill. He has been almost blind in one eye since he was a child, but never let the others know about this handicap and did the same work as everyone else. The work has brought him not only a sun tan on his face and body but also the pneumoconiosis that he now suffers from.


The Yokosuka Central Clinic

The Yokosuka Central Clinic.
The clinic performs regular medical examinations of the patients so as not to miss any small change in the disease. A more comfortable life depends on how a doctor and a patient trust each other.


The Board Session

The Board Session (Yokosuka Pneumoconiosis Hazard Victims Group ).
The patients who suffer from the same disease work together towards exterminating pneumoconiosis and asbestos-related disease. At a monthly board session they report on how the other members are and talk about claims to the authorities concerned (The Ministry of Labour, The Labour Standard Bureau etc.*) and their supportive campaign for all the members. (*Now The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare , The Labour Bureau etc.)


Pneumoconiosis & Asbestos Hazard Hotline

Pneumoconiosis and Asbestos Hazard Hotline.
The first hotline service was set up in July, 1997. It got more responses than expected (actually 312 calls from 1997-2001), which revealed that there must still be a lot more hidden asbestos victims. The telephone consultation is in service for three days in July every year.



The Yokohama District Court

The Yokohama District Court - Yokosuka Branch (U.S. Naval Base Asbestos-Related Disease Trial).
The trial started in July, 1999. The plaintiffs walk along the long slope up to the court, out of breath, on hot and cold days. They are helped and encouraged by many supporters who fill the court gallery at every trial.


The Lawyer Explains

The Lawyer Explains the Situation to the Plaintiffs (U.S. Naval Base Asbestos-Related Disease Trial).
After the trial the lawyer always explains what happened to the plaintiffs. They are so old now and some even have difficulty in hearing, having worked in very loud noise for many years, making it hard for them to hear the chief judge's voice. They can check what they have missed as the lawyer explains the situation.


Isamu Tatsutani

Isamu Tatsutani worked for the former Japan National Railways beginning in 1965. In April 2004, his illness, malignant pleural mesothelioma, was recognized as occupational. He died in August of that year. He inhaled asbestos while engaged in maintenance work at the Mukomachi Yard under the old Japan National Railways. He fell ill in September 2002, while working as a train operator for West Japan Railway Co. Following his diagnosis with pleural mesothelioma, his right lung was removed.


Storage Room

The second-floor storage room of this liquor store has been left contaminated with great amounts of blown blue asbestos. This is the second floor of the store, which is located under an elevated railway. At the place where the railroad passes overhead, many asbestos fibers have blown onto the entire surface of the ceiling and walls. The tenants were never told about the danger by the management company. The fibers contain crocidolite, which is very dangerous. It is emitted using an exhaust fan.


Hidekichi Takahashi

Hidekichi Takahashi worked as a paper hanger for 50 years. In February 2002, his illness, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational. Paper hangers are craftsmen who make and install sliding paper doors. As the use of sliding paper doors has decreased, his job has increasingly involved wallpaper and wallcloth. While working, he is exposed to dust he had ground himself as wall material, and to dust created by other craftsmen. Though he is undergoing treatment, he continues his work, saying, "I have to work, because there are customers who are only satisfied with my work."


Breathlessness

Breathlessness.
When people with pneumoconiosis or other asbestos-related diseases are sitting, they are like anybody else. However, if they climb just one or two flights of stairs, they suffer from terrible bouts of breathlessness. The agony of the disease can be seen at a glance.



Fumitoshi Saito

Fumitoshi Saito worked for 30 years as an electrician on construction sites. In 2003, his illness, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational. It's been more than 30 years since he moved from being a TV repairman to an electrician working on construction projects. He often installed wiring in ceilings where asbestos had been sprayed. Several years after his operation for lung cancer, many asbestos fibers were found in the specimen taken from his lung. He is currently undergoing oxygen therapy at home.


Kunio Oomori

Kunio Oomori worked for 18 years for a subcontractor of Tokyo Electric Power Company. In March 1998, he died at the age of 54 from malignant pleural mesothelioma. His illness was recognized as occupational in April 2000. He developed malignant pleural mesothelioma as a result of asbestos that had been sprayed in the inside of a transformer station. Following his doctor's recommendation, he had his left lung and pleural membrane excised, but died three months after the operation. His wife says she wished she could have spent more time with her late husband when he was still alive. Whenever there are rallies on the issue of asbestos or negotiations with the government, she always brings the picture of her deceased husband.


Masahiko Hamazaki

Masahiko Hamazaki worked for 20 years at a shipbuilding-related company. In March 1991, his illness, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational. He died in February 2004. For 20 years, he was engaged in the construction of ships and bridges as a boilermaker. He formed a regional association of pneumoconiosis patients with other victims, and the members encouraged one another. While undergoing oxygen treatment at home, he went to the hospital, accompanied by his wife.


Interview surveys

Interview surveys.
Many craftsmen in the construction field change companies as they accumulate experience and raise their skill level, sometimes working as employees and at other times as employers. Personal interviews can be used not only for recording one's history of exposure to dust for use in applications for gaining recognition as having an occupational disease, but also can be a contemporary history of construction techniques, or a personal history of people in the postwar era.



Fumio Minagawa

Fumio Minagawa worked for 40 years doing heat insulation installation. In February 1991, his illness, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational. He died in September 2004. Heat insulation is installed by spraying. Asbestos also used to be blown in. He sometimes brought his wife along to construction sites, and his son followed in his footsteps. He received recognition of his disease as occupational at the age of 49, but kept working, and for roughly a decade, continued to work doing spraying. His way of life was to sweat at his work on the site.


Yoshio Fujisawa

Yoshio Fujisawa worked as a plasterer for 42 years. In November 2001, his illness, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational. During the past 50 years, the work of plasterers has changed considerably. As plaster walls have been replaced by boards, there are fewer opportunities for plasterers to show their skills making a perfectly flat surface with a trowel. Fujisawa is working hard to ensure the health and safety of fellow workers at construction sites, by serving as an official in charge of safety at the construction workers' union, and as a branch leader of the Pneumoconiosis Victims' Association.


Cutting Asbestos Pipe

Cutting asbestos pipes.
Asbestos was not only used in spraying and in boards; it was also contained in water pipes. Workers inhale large amounts of asbestos dust when cutting these pipes with sanders and other electrical tools during laying, repair or removal work. The President of this construction company is currently applying for recognition of his lung cancer as an occupational disease.



Tokuo Kato

Tokuo Kato worked for several years at a company manufacturing boilers. In June 2003, his illness, malignant pleural mesothelioma, was recognized as occupational. He died in September 2004. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he worked for several years at a boiler manufacturing firm. After that, he worked for a further 40 years with no connection to asbestos. However, in 2002 he was found to have malignant pleural mesothelioma. He was then contacted by the pneumoconiosis and mesothelioma hotline, and in June 2003 received recognition as having an occupational disease. He said it was hard to bear the fact that there is no effective treatment for his illness.


A Patient

A Patient, whose disease was recognized as occupational, consults with a doctor. Isamu Iwasaki, born in 1924, who had been working as a subcontracted worker for Sumitomo Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., had his disease recognized as occupational two years after he consulted the Hotline. It sometimes takes even longer for retired patients to have their disease recongnized as occupational, because they have to go through various complicated procedures before reaching recognition.



Shigeru Koseki

Shigeru Koseki, born in 1920, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 30 years. His disease, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational in February, 1991. He smiles at the camera, holding his three-month-old great grandaughter in his arms. He feels very sad and sorry for his colleague's passing away, another victim of the disease. If they had known about their disease (pneumoconiosis) earlier, they could have prepared themselves to ensure that they would enjoy their lives better after retirement.


Seminar on Occupational Accidents & Disease

The Seminar on Occupational Accidents and Disease: "DO NOT LOSE YOUR HUSBAND FROM IGNORANCE - Informing people of the Survivors Compensation System"
If your disease is diagnosed as pnemoconiosis or Asbestos-related, you had better take a regular medical check up by the specialist, even though you may not be suffering painful symptoms. The treatment for occupational disease requires various procedures. It is important not to bear the disease all by yourself but to have your family understand the characteristics of the disease and how to cope with them.


Hearing from the plantiffs

Hearing from the Plaintiffs (U.S. Naval Base Asbestos-Related Disease Trial).
It is important with these trials to hear from the plaintiffs. The lawyers in charge hear from them about their past career, the details of their jobs and their present state of health. As they talk on, new anger builds up against the terrible dust and the poor safety measures.


Masajiro Masuo

Masajiro Masuo, born in 1931, a former worker of the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., who served there for 39 years. His disease, complications with pnumoconiosis, was recognized as occupational in December, 1999. "Are you ready for a shot?" The couple is photographed in the same clothes in a charming manner. "My husband's legs are getting weak and he spends most of his time at home." says his wife Fusako. But he looks quite well relying on her.


How to relax in bed

"How to Relax in Bed."
Moderate exercise helps keep the disease from deteriorating. Even lying in bed, should learn how to stay relaxed.



Hana Ouhashi

Hana Ouhashi, a bereaved wife of a former worker(Rikimatsu Ouhashi) of the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 26 years. He had suffered from pneumoconiosis, which was recognized as occupational in April, 1996 but died of asbestosis in March, 1996 at the age of 80. "My husband was a sincere, quiet man. He used to come home punctually and was a very good husband to me." His wife, though somewhat disabled, is so sure of her memory and speaks so clearly of her life with her lost husband.


Sakari Yamashita

Sakari Yamashita, born in 1924, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 20 years. His disease, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational in October, 1999. "I love to watch travel programmes on TV." It is the only way for him to enjoy traveling because he can't live without a supply of bottled oxygen. He wants to go on a trip again some day though he won't be able to be very active and it will have to be a limited trip.


Can't live without the medicine

"Can't Live without the Medicine For Cough and Phlegm."
Pneumoconiosis can slowly advance after you have left the job. It is worst when a cold developes into pneumonia. For the patient, the medicine to expand bronchii and to clear his throat of phlegm is indispensable to his daily life.


Testimonials to show his pride in the job

"The Testimonials to Show His Pride in the Job."
Everyone takes pride in his job. If you have worked safe and long enough till the age of retirement, you might well be even prouder. When the topic comes to the job in which he was engaged in the past, he is even keener about talking. "I did this and that..." and his personal history goes on and on.


Toshio Ishibashi

Toshio Ishibashi, born in 1918, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 29 years. His disease, complications with pneumoconiosis, was recognized as occupational in February, 1998. He is over 80, but sits upright. Though he lives with his daughter's family, keeping his independence, they get along well with each other. He tries to walk as much as he can to keep himself healthy. He enjoys a leisurely stay at a holiday resort but his illness means he must cut short his stay.


The Seminar on Occupational Accidents & Disease

The Seminar on Occupational Accidents and Disease: "HOW TO LEAD AN EASIER LIFE WITH PNEUMOCONIOSIS UNDER TREATMENT"
Although these lung diseases are very serious and can be very debilitating they can be managed with medical help so the sufferer can continue to have some personal life. Once you've learned how, your life can be eased. When you have difficulty in breathing air(oxygen), you can feel more comfortable by trying abdominal breathing.


Rizo Uno

Rizo Uno, born in 1931, a former worker of the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., who served there for 37 years. His disease, complications with pnumoconiosis, was recognized as occupational in December, 1992. The couple's room is used as a playroom by their four-year-old twin grandsons, who prevent them from relaxing and having a nap. Nevertheless, they look pleased and happy with their company. He uses a nebulizer for inhaling treatment more often these days in the middle of the night.


Home Oxygen Therapy

"Home Oxygen Therapy."
If a patient's lung function drops, it makes it hard for them to take in oxygen by themselves. Even a small movement can make it more difficult for a patient to breathe. If the patient requires a constant supply of oxygen, his life at home will consequently become limited.


Protest to the Defense Facilities Administration Agency

Protest to the Defense Facilities Administration Agency (Claiming Additional Compensation for the U.S. Naval Base)
The Plaintiffs and supporters go on quesioning the DFAA keenly and aggressively, "Why are you ignoring us?" "How far have our compensation claims progressed with USN?" irritated by their unchanged and insincere attitude.


Masuo Sakuma

Masuo Sakuma, born in 1925, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 15 years. His disease, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational in November, 2000. It's nine months since he began to take home oxygen therapy. He is a man of few words, but his personality is well shown in the manner he talks - bit by bit as if he makes sure of each word. He's developed an eye problem recently. This and the oxygen therapy prevent him from going out easily. "My pleasure now is to have our 17-year-old grandson come see us here," he says, smiling at his wife who helps him around and looks after him devotedly.


Asbestos in Public Facilities

Asbestos in Public Facilities.
In Japan, many public facilities still use asbestos. Ms. Laurie Kazan-Allen (International Ban Asbestos Secretariat/ IBAS) visited the parking garage of Yokosuka City Office, which is one such building.



Japan Association of Mesothelioma & Asbestos-related Disease Victims

Japan Association of Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Disease Victims and Their Families.
This is the first association in Japan of victims of asbestos and their families. It was established in 2003. The association is run primarily by victims and their families, and aims to encourage exchanges between members and medical consultations, and provides assistance with applications for recognition as occupational diseases.


Asbestos in schools

Asbestos in schools.
I gasped as I walked into the classroom of this elementary school in Nerima Ward, Tokyo. Asbestos was coming out from the ceiling everywhere. Sprayed material had decayed and crumbled in a corner in the back of the classroom. In addition, there were signs that the asbestos had been poked at with a pole or scrubbed with a brush, and in places one could see signs where it had been hit by balls, and there were even footprints. It seems that children played with the asbestos on a daily basis.


Asbestos in schools

Asbestos in Schools.
I gasped as I walked into the classroom of this elementary school in Nerima Ward, Tokyo. Asbestos was coming out from the ceiling everywhere. Sprayed material had decayed and crumbled in a corner in the back of the classroom. In addition, there were signs that the asbestos had been poked at with a pole or scrubbed with a brush, and in places one could see signs where it had been hit by balls, and there were even footprints. It seems that children played with the asbestos on a daily basis.



Akio Kasahara

Akio Kasahara worked on the NYK Line for 16 years after joining the firm in 1951. In March 2004, his illness, malignant pleural mesothelioma, was recognized as occupational. He died later that year. For roughly six years, he worked as a boilerplate worker. In December 2002, he developed pleural mesothelioma. He was the first patient to gain recognition of a work-related illness through Seaman's Insurance.


Setsuko Hishikura

Setsuko Hishikura, bereaved wife of a former worker (Yasuhiko Hishikura), of the Sumitomo Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., who served there for 43 years. His disease, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational on April, 1991. He died of Lung Cancer in September, 2000 at the Age of 73. "My husband never brought home any stories of his job. He had been hospitalized several times during the advancement in the disease and for injuries like cutting off one of his legs, but survived each time. I believed in his recovery and that he would be coming home again." The cancer had spread from lungs and made fatal progress.


Michiko Sakuma

Michiko Sakuma, bereaved wife of a former worker (Mitsuji Sakuma), at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 42 years. He had suffered from pnumoconiosis and died of lung cancer in April,1997 at the age of 66. " My husband used to take me around with him wherever he went. He loved travelling and had looked forward to his new life after retirement. He was such a hard worker. He even cancelled our scheduled family trip suddenly once, giving priority to his job. He was loved and respected by the young people at his workplace and many of them got together to hold a commemorative party for him on the day of his retirement. I only wish he could have lived longer!"


Toshio Mayama

Toshio Mayama, born in 1926, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 35 years. His disease, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational in Feburuary, 1991. His wife Kimi is an active hard worker and takes good care of her disabled husband, who got better after leaving hosptal. It is probably because this has made him feel more confortable at home. He's become so much better now that he can stay home all alone for a few hours, without anyone around him to help.


Protest to the Defense Facilities Administration Agency

Protest to the Defense Facilities Administration Agency (Claiming Additional Compensation from The U.S. Naval Base).
Three patients have previously been paid for asbestos hazard on the basis of the U. S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement. Seven of the retired patients and the bereaved families whose statute of limitations which have not expired have claimed compensation, but have not yet received any response from the Government. They all crowded into the Agency expressing their anger demanding "When in hell will we get a sincere answer?"



Asbestos Pneumoconiosis

On the day of the ruling (first lawsuit on asbestos pneumoconiosis on the U.S. naval base), families hold the pictures of victims. This day was a total victory for the plaintiffs. Wives and daughters hold up pictures of their late husbands and fathers, whose will to fight they succeeded. One person said, "They say it's a 'total victory.' But it's so sad, thinking if only my husband had survived." Another said, "If my husband were only alive, we could go on a trip together. And we had so many things we wanted to do after his retirement."


Yaiko Watanabe

Yaiko Watanabe worked for 10 years as an employee on a U.S. military base. In September 2001, her illness, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational. She has a friendly smile. Even after her retirement, former colleagues give her advice and take care of her. She says she doesn't remember anything about her work, but she was exposed to asbestos dust while making heat-resistant "mattresses." She is one of the few female victims of pneumoconiosis.


The Nebulizer

The Nebulizer.
The main symptoms of pneumoconiosis are shortness of breath while moving, coughs and phlegm. Phlegm obstructing the airways awakes the patient from sleep in the middle of the night. He expectorates by rapping himself on the back or in the chest, but when this does not work, he may have to use a nebulizer for inhaling treatment.



A Regular Home Visit

A Regular Home Visit by a Doctor to a Patient Being Treated at Home.
It is sometimes difficult for the patient to go out because of the ailments, like lung malfunctions, putting a bigger strain on heart and other organs.



Kazuo Ogawa

Kazuo Ogawa, born in 1925, a former worker at the U.S. Naval Base, who served there for 33 years. His disease, pneumoconiosis with complications, was recognized as occupational in April, 1990. He has to do everything by himself because he lives on his own. He sometimes goes out for a drink to a pub in the neighbourhood at night because he misses people's company. But his children visit him very often to see how their dad is. He is happy with them and thanks them for their visit.